The detection of sharp force, blunt force and gunshot trauma on whole pigs recovered from a fire environment
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The ability to recognize and identify skeletal material is a fundamental skill in forensic and physical anthropology. Understanding the process that remains have undergone when they have been exposed to a fire environment necessitates further study and specialization as the basic structure of a bone may be altered from the microscopic level to the overall morphology. Analysis of burnt bone goes beyond understanding how the normal taphonomic processes may affect skeletal remains to the specifics of heat and fire related changes. Additionally, the study of how heat or fire alteration affects trauma determinations can be important for determining the forensic significance of a case. The procedures of a fire investigation play a very important role in the recognition, preservation and analysis of skeletal remains especially considering site recovery techniques and perimortem trauma interpretation determination. This study utilized whole pigs to document changes to trauma from exposure to a compartment fire. The results were compared to previous studies done on individual skeletal elements to show that trauma was still recognizable and often protected in the postcranial body.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University
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